Introduction to Social Security Disability Benefits

By Jennifer Scherf-Cook

There are several types of Social Security benefits for people who find themselves unable to work. The two programs for disabled individuals are Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Social Security Disability Insurance is a program for people who are unable to engage in any kind of employment for at least 12 months, who had FICA taxes taken out of their paycheck for approximately five out of the 10 years prior to becoming disabled and who earned more than around $9,000 per year during that same time period. SSDI is based on your earnings and is usually a higher amount than SSI.  After a 24-month waiting period, SSDI beneficiaries also receive Medicare benefits.

Supplemental Security Income is for people who are unable to engage in any kind of employment for at least 12 months and who meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) income and asset requirements. These requirements vary, so please call or visit our website for more details.  SSI benefits are currently at $698 per month. This program comes with Medicaid benefits.

You can apply for these benefits by calling your local SSA office and making an appointment, by visiting your local SSA office or by visiting the website at

Our website,, has a lot of useful information regarding Social Security benefits.  We also encourage people to call our office if they have questions about whether or not they qualify, or about what other benefits are available.

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